NUKA’S TALE

NUKA’S TALE
This story was created in 2002 by and is copyrighted to KristynLioness (Kristin Nienaber)

Nuka, Zira, Kovu, Vitani, Simba, and Scar are copyrighted to Disney
Several scenes in this story are taken from the movie such as: the first dialogue between Vitani and Nuka when he’s complaining about Scar’s choice for the Chosen One, the part in the Shadowlands when he and Vitani gather fire for their ‘set the Pridelands on fire scheme’ and of course, Nuka’s death scene. Also, the part when Nuka and Zira go to check on Kovu’s progress and Simba and Kovu’s ambush. All other parts are original.

Everything was noisy and chaotic. There was flame blazing everywhere and there were sounds of chaos as lionesses and hyenas fought each other. At the bottom of Pride Rock, a reddish brown, lanky lion with a black mane and a scar over his right eye was being attacked by scores of hyenas he’d just betrayed. The lion’s name was Scar, and he fought desperately to keep from being torn to bits. The hyenas’ combined strength was too much for him though, and he went down.

A lanky cream-colored lioness with three cubs at her side, gasped as she watched her mate being over taken. Telling her oldest, Nuka, to watch his baby brother and sister, she leaped into the middle of the mass of snarling cackling bodies with an outraged roar. The hyenas were taken off guard by this, and soon ran off. With a final roar at the retreating animals, the lioness solemnly walked to Scar’s side, her gold eyes filled with concern.

Scar’s sides shook and rose and fell as he painfully breathed. “Zira,” he whispered. “Bring our cubs to me so I can say goodbye.”

“Scar darling, what do you mean, ‘say goodbye’?” Zira asked, her voice choked up by tears.

“Darling, there’s no denying it. What with falling from the top of Pride Rock, and being attacked by those treacherous hyenas, it’s a wonder I’m not dead already. Now go, quickly get the cubs. My time is very short.” Scar said.

Zira went behind the rock where Nuka and the twins were and said, “Come Nuka, your father is dying and wishes to see you one last time.” The scraggly cub said, “What happened Mother?” But Zira ignored the question and picked up her newborns, Kovu and Vitani. With Nuka sadly trailing her heels, she went back to where Scar lay dying.

His green eyes flickered a little and he said, “Goodbye Nuka my son. Always remember me and grow up to make me proud.” Scar lifted up a paw and wiped a tear from Nuka’s face with a black claw. Nuka buried his face in Scar’s black mane and sobbed saying, “Bye, Daddy! I will make you proud!

Scar nuzzled little Kovu and Vitani and said, “Zira, I want you to train Kovu to kill Simba and take place as king.” Zira glanced over at Nuka and said,
“Why not Nuka?”

“Because Nuka will always be weak and scraggly. But, Kovu already has the makings of a fine strong muscular lion.” Scar winced and asked Zira to nuzzle him one last time. Zira and Scar nuzzled and said their goodbyes. Then, Scar’s eyes glazed over, and his heart stopped beating as he passed away. Zira dropped her head and placed a paw over eyes in grief. With every part of his body drooping, Nuka trod over to his mother and leaned against her leg wetting it with his tears.

Zira hadn’t noticed that the sounds of conflict and the flames were gone. She hardly even noticed the rain that was soaking her through. She picked up her newborn cubs and walked to the front of Pride Rock. Nuka followed her, deep in thought about Scar choosing Kovu to rule as king one day instead of him. A slight burning entered his heart. It was a little flame of jealousy.

At the front of Pride Rock, Simba had made his ascension to take his place as king. The sight filled Zira with nothing but hate. She looked at the fuzzy ball of fur that was Kovu and murmured, “All Kovu’s life, I’ll teach him to hate you and want to kill you Simba. I will laugh as he seals your doom!” She was snapped back into reality by a grayish-brown lioness who had sided with Scar as well.
“Zira, I’m so sorry for your loss.” She said with a look of concern on her face.

“Hmm? Oh yes, thank you.” Zira replied. Soon Zira and her cubs went to sleep. In the morning, she awoke with a start to find a great powerful red-maned golden lion scowling in front of her.

“Zira, I have just banished all who sided with Scar to the Outlands. Now you and your cubs get out!” he said. Zira got up and said with a lethal tone,

“Oh, I will Simba. But I will return, and when I do, my baby Kovu will be standing over your corpse!” She grinned a smile of evil satisfaction when she saw a flickering look of fright on Simba’s face. Zira woke Nuka up, and he yawned, saying, “What’s goin’ on Mother?”

“Simba’s forcing us to leave our home and live in a place that’s barren and has little food or water.” Zira snarled.

“Why?” Nuka asked, irritating his mother with the way he bounced along.

“NUKA, STOP THAT INFERNAL BOUNCING AND WALK LIKE A NORMAL LION!!!!” Zira shouted. The scolding hit Nuka like a ton of bricks, and he immediately quieted, and stopped bouncing. He took the time to observe the moods of the lionesses traveling to the Outlands. The moods ranged from sad and somber to angry and spiteful like his mother. Nuka was just a jumble of emotions. He missed his father. He still stung from the way his mother had yelled at him. He was sad to be moving away from his only home. But first, last, and most of all, Nuka was jealous of his little brother Kovu.

The banished pride of lions journeyed on until they reached the Outlands in late morning. Zira put Kovu and Vitani down and looked over her new home in shock. The place was an ugly barren desert. There were few trees, and the ones that were there, were dead. The heat was stifling. There didn’t seem to be any life forms in this place.

Nuka continued to stare in shock while Zira bristled and roared angrily to tell what she thought of the Outlands. “Come on everyone, we’ll try to find somewhere to make homes for ourselves. Nuka was about to join in the search when he felt a tremendous itch. He scratched and his claws bumped against something. He plucked the thing out of his fur and threw it away in disgust. It was a termite! Nuka then, saw the perfect place to live in. It was a giant cave with plenty of room for all the Outsiders. “ HEY MOTHER, LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!!!!!” he shouted wildly. Zira nonchalantly inspected Nuka’s choice of den and said, “Hmm, it’ll do I guess.” Zira lay down and let the twins nurse while she washed the dust off of their downy coats.

Nuka didn’t notice everyone else coming into the cave he’d found. He was staring after Zira with a look of hurt confusion on his face. Zira barely noticed that it was he who had found the cave! Not only that, but she was taking all the credit!

“Zira, you are truly as great a leader as Scar was to have found such a grand cave for us to live in.” a gray brown lioness was saying.

“Why, thank you. No one can be as great as Scar was though.” Zira replied with a sad smile. The lionesses all nodded in agreement solemnly. Nuka wrinkled his nose in disgust, and claws angrily tearing up the ground, he dashed out of the cave to vent his frustrations.

“They think SHE found the cave! She won’t even acknowledge that it was I who found it!!” He screeched when he felt more termite bites. Nuka scratched vigorously, shouting, “Get off you disgusting parasites!!!!!” Nuka’s thoughts turned to the twins. “She lavishes all her affections on those babies. Then she turns around and treats me like CRAP! Or treats me like nothing at all.”

“Nuka, quit that shouting! The twins are asleep!” Zira shouted from the mouth of the cave. Nuka made the mistake of sticking his tongue out at Zira, and with an angry snarl, she bounded towards Nuka, and had him pinned on the ground with a paw on his chest. “Do that again, and I’ll rip your tongue from your head!” she yelled. Nuka cowered and laughed nervously. “Sorry, Mother, it’ll never happen again!”

“See to it that it doesn’t.” Zira said, then she lifted her paw off Nuka’s chest and lashing her tail, stalked back to the den. Nuka lay down and scowled, wishing he had never been born.

The months passed by, and Nuka, Kovu, and Vitani grew. Finally, Nuka was half grown, and he had the beginnings of a scraggly black mane on the back of his neck. He also had a scraggly twisted goatee on his chin. He was quite proud of his incoming mane. He also liked it that he was almost as big as his mother. Nuka was also as neglected as ever. Zira spent most of her time training Kovu to kill Simba. Vitani was a thorn in his flesh with the way she always gave him a hard time.

One day Zira said, “I’m going out to spy on the Pridelands. I want you to watch Kovu, Nuka.”

“Okay, Mother.” Nuka replied with a sour expression on his face. Zira hugged Kovu to her and said, “Mother’s going out now. You be good and mind Nuka. I’ll be back soon.” Zira strode away.

“Hey Nuka, think you can watch Kovu, or does his twin sister have to take over again?” Vitani asked with a mocking smile.

“Shut up Vitani! I can do it!” Nuka exclaimed.

“Sure ya can. Betcha you’ll leave him somewhere again.” Vitani retorted.

“C’mon Nuka, we don’t need her.” Kovu said. Nuka thought that was the best thing Kovu had ever said. So they left Vitani to do own thing and went on a walk.

Nuka chose a clump of dead trees to let Kovu play at. He watched as Kovu pounce at nothing, clawed the air, and pretended to brutally kill something. The sight made Nuka laugh wildly. Kovu saw that he actually making his brother happy and said, “Hey Nuka, watch me pretend to kill Simba!” Nuka let out an exasperated huff and turned his back. Kovu saw Nuka’s turned back and sneaked off.

“All right, little termite, let’s go home so Vitani can have someone to make fun of.” Nuka said, getting up onto his awkward paws. There was no response. “Oh well, let the little termite die then.” That gave him an idea. Nuka decided that he’d sneak up on Kovu one night while he was asleep and kill him. The idea set Nuka to bounding along and laughing wildly. By the time Nuka got to the last hill, he was in a sour mood again. As he climbed to the top of the hill, he was saying, “Kovu, Kovu, Kovu. Scar wasn’t even his father. He just took him in.” Nuka saw Vitani gnawing on a branch and said, “Oh hey, Vitani! Where’s the little termite Kovu, the Chosen One?” Nuka extended a claw and snapped off the tight branch causing his little sister to fall over. She got onto her paws and accusingly said, “Nuka, where’s Kovu? Did you leave him on his own again?”

Nuka replied while scratching at termites, “Hey, it’s every lion for himself out here. That little termite has to learn to be on his own.”

Vitani narrowed her eyes and said, “Mother’s gonna be mad. She told you to WATCH HIM!” Nuka was scratching his back against a tree trunk and replied,
“Oh, who cares? I should’ve been the Chosen One. I’m the oldest. I’m the strongest. I’m the smartest……. AUGH THESE TERMITES!!!!!!!!” Vitani smiled mockingly at Nuka. He scooted around raising up dust, shouting, “ I- could –be –a leader- if-she’d- just- give me – a – chance!”

Vitani snorted and said, “Yeah right! Why don’t you tell that to her ?”

“Yeah?” Nuka replied. “Don’t think I won’t!”

“Oh yeah?” Vitani chuckled. “Here’s your chance.”

“Huh?” Nuka turned his head and saw a very cross looking Zira carrying Kovu in her mouth. He bounded happily towards her saying, “Mother? Mother? Ha ha ha! I caught some field mice for your dinner, I left by the uh, ok.” Zira didn’t even acknowledge her oldest. Suddenly she turned on Nuka and growled, “You were supposed to be WATCHING HIM!!!” Nuka gasped in fear and shrunk back. Kovu bravely came to Nuka’s defense and Zira’s anger was diverted to Kovu to Nuka’s relief. The day wore on with Zira sharing her plans for Kovu. Nuka expressed his disgust, which made Zira growl at him.

That night, Nuka made sure everyone was asleep and decided to try to kill Kovu. He stalked up to the hollowed out tree stump that Kovu slept in and could hardly keep from laughing. Nuka looked at Kovu sleeping soundly. “Soon Kovu, you’ll go into the deepest sleep of all, and I will be king.”he murmured. Nuka fully extended his claws and raised them over Kovu. Suddenly, Nuka heard a voice shouting, “Nuka, what are you doing?!!!!” Nuka turned his head and saw a very irate Zira.

“Mother, what are you doing up so late?” he said, smiling sheepishly.

“I might ask you the same question!” Zira snarled. “Scar told you to make him proud. You’re disgracing your father by trying to kill his heir. Now, get out of my sight!” Nuka stomped away and flopped down next to Vitani hating Kovu more than ever.

More months passed by, and Nuka was an adult with his scrawny mane all grown in. Vitani and Kovu were adults as well. Kovu was ready and fully trained to fulfill his destiny. The plan was finally ready to act upon. The first part of the plan was to set the Pridelands on fire while Simba’s daughter, Kiara, was hunting so that Kovu could get on Simba’s soft side by saving her. Vitani and Nuka were assigned to the task.

They headed to the deserted Shadowlands with dry sticks to get their fire. Nuka and Vitani paused on top of a cliff and Nuka scratched his shoulder and said, “Eew, this place is even creepier since the hyenas ran off.”

Vitani rolled her eyes and moaned, “Aw gee.” In disgust of Nuka’s cowardice. As they climbed down to where the geysers were, Nuka snorted defensively and replied, “Look, I’m not scared, Ok? I just don’t see why we have to be here, that’s all. If Kovu’s so SPECIAL, why does he need us? I never even had a CHANCE!!!!” A geyser erupted behind Nuka making him jump and cry out. He covered his head with his paws and whimpered. He hadn’t expected that. Vitani rolled her eyes again, then smiled when a geyser lit her branch on fire. “Well c’mon!” she said impatiently. “Kiara has started her hunt. We have to move quickly.” Nuka was peering into a geyser hole. A burst of steam exploded in his face and he shouted, “HOW FAR?” Hooting with laughter, he bounded along behind Vitani.

They reached the spot. Vitani cackled evilly as she starting setting the Pridelands on fire. Nuka sprang away shouting, “LET’S FIGHT FIRE!!!!!!” He lit a circle of fire around himself singing, “Roasty toasty princess, Roasty toasty princess!” He stopped. It felt awful hot all of a sudden. “Hey, is it hot in here, or is it, just me?” He glanced around at the flames and was catapulted quite a distance away. He sprang onto his feet and laughed. Vitani grabbed him and said, “C’mon!”

Vitani and Nuka ran back to the Outlands so they wouldn’t get trapped by their own fire.

“Hey, maybe mother will actually be pleased with me!” Nuka happily said when they reached home.

“I wouldn’t hold your breath.” Vitani replied. Nuka said, “Oh, what do you know?” Vitani ignored her brother and concentrated on scratching an itch on her side.

Zira soon came home in one of her rare extremely good moods. “Splendid job Vitani! The plan is working just smoothly thanks to you my wonderful daughter!”

“Thanks mom, it was nothing,” Vitani responded, shooting a smug smile at Nuka. That glance clearly said, “I told you so!” Nuka sputtered and stared unbelievingly at Zira. He’d done just as much as Vitani, just as well! Nuka turned his back and walked away muttering, “I was a fool to think Mother would ever give me credit for anything. Now where’s little termite Kovu? Oh yeah, he gone. Good.”

The next night, Zira surprised Nuka by coming up to him and saying, “C’mon Nuka, I’m going to take you with me to check on Kovu’s progress.” Nuka was overjoyed to be going back to the place of his birth. Nuka walked calmly beside his mother, knowing that if he acted as happy as he felt, she might make him stay behind and take Vitani.

They stopped at a fallen tree which offered a perfect view of Simba and Kovu. Zira and Nuka watched intently. Simba and Kovu were being friendly to each other. Nuka waited with a malicious smile on his face for Kovu to do Simba in. Instead, Simba and Kovu walked inside the den. Nuka was exasperated and he cried out, “Wha- didja, Didja see that?! He LET HIM GO! If that were me….”

“Hush!” Zira scolded her son, making him cower down. “ The rescue worked perfectly and Simba fell for it. Now the closer he gets to the daughter, the closer he gets to Simba. And once he has him alone…..RRRRRRRAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUGGGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” She heavily chopped a branch off making it fly in splinters. Nuka ducked down to avoid being hit and nervously rose his head back up when Zira was through.

“Now, come along Nuka. We’ll go home.” Zira said, already starting off in that direction. Nuka followed suit. “Thanks for taking me along Mother.” He said.

“Hmm, just don’t expect it to happen again.” Zira said. The rest of the trip was enveloped in silence. When they did get home, Zira filled Vitani on what they’d seen, and told her to go out two days from then. Nuka growled wishing he was the one who got to go to the Pridelands.

Two nights later, Vitani left to see how Kovu was doing. Nuka had to stay and listen to Zira conjure up all sorts of progress that Kovu could’ve made. It just about made Nuka sick.

“Oh, Kovu is making Scar so proud right now I’m sure! I’m so proud of my Kovu! Aren’t you, Nuka?” Zira gushed.

“Yeah, Uh huh, sure, real proud.” Nuka said with no enthusiasm.

When Vitani came back, the news was bad. Kovu hadn’t killed Simba, in fact, they seemed to be good buddies! Nuka shook his head in disgust. So much for the termite making Scar and Zira proud.

Zira was deep in thought the entire next day, and totally unapproachable. Finally, she said, “I’ve got it! Vitani, go tell the lionesses to come here. Nuka stay put. You need to hear this too.” Nuka seated himself as the lionesses gathered ‘round, and thought, What now?

Once all the lionesses were assembled, Zira leaped onto her perch, a rock jutting out of a cliff. “Listen, the plan has taken a turn for the worse. Instead of killing Simba, Kovu’s become good friends with him! Now, you will follow me to where the log dam is. We will ambush Simba. Nuka, Vitani, walk alongside me .Now come, we must win back the Pridelands for Scar!” Zira laughed evilly and the lionesses roared, ready to be out for some blood. Nuka ran to Zira’s side and grinning in evil anticipation, walked alongside her.

They reached their designated spot, and Zira said, “Ok, get into hiding. When Simba comes by, get ‘im!” Nuka could hardly control himself. He couldn’t wait to pierce Simba’s hide with his claws. Zira could see Simba and Kovu coming and signaled for everyone to silently surround them. Simba and Kovu were soon cornered. They looked about in alarm as Zira advanced and said, “Why Simba, what are you doing out here, and so…alone? Well done Kovu, just like we always planned.” Simba angrily turned on Kovu and shouted, “YOU!” Kovu desperately tried to tell Simba that he had nothing to do with it. Zira cried, “Attack!” The lionesses piled themselves on Simba. Nuka saw this as a chance to make his parents proud. He pounced on Simba, but was smacked away by him. Nuka sailed through the air and was stunned by his head hitting a rock.

Nuka’s senses swam and he shook his head, and struggled back onto his paws. After stumbling about a little, he joined the rest of the pride. A badly wounded Simba was now trying to climb up the logs that formed the dam. Kovu was watching him struggle, from his perch atop a cliff with a worried expression on his face. “Simba!” he cried out. Nuka, Zira, Vitani, and the whole rest of the pride watched Kovu, thinking that Kovu was going to kill Simba. He was doing nothing though, and Zira cried out, “Kovu get him! Do it, Now!” Instead, Kovu disappeared from sight.

Nuka saw his chance to make Scar and Zira proud of him. He sprang forward and onto the logs. He said, “I’LL DO IT FOR YOU MOTHER!!!! MOTHER ARE YOU WATCHING?!!!!!!!!!!!” He stumbled and regained his balance. As he neared Simba, he muttered, “I’m doing it for you, and I’m doing it for me.” He latched his claws onto Simba’s hind paw saying, “This is my moment of glory!” Suddenly, Simba kicked loose and knocked Nuka further down the hill of logs. Nuka’s body became trapped between two logs causing a terrible onslaught of pain. Nuka struggled to free himself, and heard a rumbling tumbling sound. “Oh no!” he bleakly thought. He turned his head, and his eyes widened in terror at the sight of a log plummeting straight for him. The log slammed onto Nuka’s head, and hid him from view.

Nuka felt blinding pain coursing throughout his entire body. The logs were a crushing weight on him. Nuka closed his eyes waiting to die. Just a few moments later, the logs hiding him were removed by Zira who was frantically worried about her oldest son. She found him and deep concern written all over her face, said, “Nuka!” Zira cupped Nuka’s chin with her paw and Nuka shakily whispered, “I’m sorry Mother. I tried.” Zira smiled at him and comfortingly said, “Shh.” Nuka could feel himself fading. He gathered up the strength and said, “Well, I finally got your attention, didn’t I?”

Zira replied, “Yes, my dear Nuka, and you made your father proud too.” Nuka smiled, happier than he’d ever been, then went limp.